Mats Wilander has named Alexander Zverev and David Goffin as two players who could cause an upset at the Australian Open, where Roger Federer remains the clear favourite to lift the title.
The Swede, a three-time champion at Melbourne Park, expects Zverev and Goffin to be major threats Down Under, despite the pair never even reaching the semi-finals.
Goffin crashed out to Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals of the 2017 edition, while Zverev’s exit at the hands of Rafael Nadal in the third round was his best effort in Melbourne.
But with Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori already withdrawing, and doubts remaining over Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s involvement, Wilander believes the duo should be considered as contenders for the title.
‘Obviously, Alexander Zverev has improved a lot and he looks fit and healthy,’ Wilander said.
‘Somebody who is as clever as he is would see the opportunity that everybody is not at 100%.
‘I would think Zverev is waiting in a starting position to try to grab his first major or at least have a great result.
‘Goffin is one of those guys we haven’t really talked about in terms of winning a major and I have to say in terms of improvement not just physically but tactically, he is the one who has taken the biggest steps forward.
‘In terms of results now he reached the ATP World Tour Finals, he beat two French players in France in the Davis Cup final and beat Federer in London.
‘Five sets is only going to help him, playing outdoors is only going to help him and he’s got more weapons.’
More: Roger Federer